One of the things I believe about cancer is that toxins and stressors are definitely culprits. I believe it will be proven that the toxins in our environment, i.e., our food and water supplies, our diets, our air, and chronic stress are directly related to the high numbers of diagnosed cancers.
So, believing that, in my quest to clean up my personal environment so to speak, I started trying to find and eat clean meat, fish and poultry.
Clean animal products means as free as possible from antibiotics and hormones, raised in as natural an environment as possible. And eating those sparingly. Fortunately, for me, I attempted vegetarianism a while back for about a year, so eating less meat is something I’ve gotten used to.
So off I went on a quest to find affordable clean meat, poultry and fish in my area. Grass fed meat, antibiotic-free chickens and wild caught fish are all available, but the operative word here is affordable. Seeing a tiny little roasting chicken in one of the supermarkets I frequent for $20 doesn’t qualify as affordable, no matter how happy a chicken it might have been, pecking at will, not being pumped up with antibiotics and growth hormones. Who would spend $20 on a roasting chicken (I’m talking tiny) that isn’t being served to you in a restaurant?
However, I did find in another local chain called Hannaford that there are choices available that might not be grass fed or free range (kind of relative terms anyway, as access to open space may be all that’s legally required as opposed to actually freely grazing or pecking in pastures but that’s another issue), but that are fed with no antibiotics or growth hormones and come at a much more reasonable price tag. It depends upon whether the meat or poultry is organic or natural. The term “organic” is regulated by the USDA, but the use of the terms “natural” and “all-natural” is regulated only for meat and poultry.
The following FDA guidelines define organic and natural for those who are interested.
Organic produce and groceries are grown and made without using most conventional pesticides, sewage sludge or petroleum-based fertilizers, bio-engineering (GMOs) or ionizing radiation, keeping toxic chemicals out of our precious air, earth and water. Any soil used must have been clean and pesticide-free for at least 36 months. Organic farmers emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.
Organic eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones, and are fed organic feed and/or graze in organically certified pastures.
Natural products are made without artificial ingredients including colors, flavors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, refined sugars, added growth hormones, antibiotics, growth-promoting drugs, MSG or nitrates/nitrites. Products may be minimally processed in a way that does not fundamentally alter the raw product.
And Hannaford’s offers fish and seafood traceable to the farm or wild fishery and come from sustainable sources. So, for just a little bit more than I’m used to paying, I can get relatively clean meat, poultry and fish, and hope that by doing so, I might not be adding to the vitality of my cancer tumors. And I might be helping pave the way for food companies to see that happy chickens are good for people and business.
Next time, dairy products.